The point is - you have to be dirt poor to not be able to save up $250 to buy a desktop computer or used laptop from the pawn shop. If you can't afford that, then you can't afford internet access or electricity or backup storage media to use a computer, of any kind, and you would get more done by simply getting a smartphone. If the donation thing just makes you feel good about yourself, buy a new computer and donate that.
You... don't really understand poverty much, do you? There are discount Internet connectivity programs (Comcast Internet Essentials) that can get you online for $10 if you are below certain income criteria. Even if you're having trouble paying your electric bill, you can get help with that too from most utility companies.
There is no "proper", or "best practice" place. Your two questions are entirely dependent on your use-case scenarios. If you want to block flash scripts on your kids browsers, do it host level at the OS. If you are dealing with a gigantic 2000 employee office campus, then you'd want to probably handle that centrally on a giant honking appliance/router designed for it where you can centrally manage policy.
A full, true, Raspberry pi setup that could replace a computer (including a case + power supply + sd card, etc) will run you around $85. There's not $85 of scrap value in an old P4 unfortunately.
ExtremeTech did an article on this:
There's been many valid points made here about the long term costs of power consumption versus the short term upfront costs of new hardware investment. Unfortunately the issue with most non-profits is they don't have the upfront capital to invest in say 50 Raspberry Pi systems, but they can easily spread out the power consumption over the long term of 50 P4's (as inefficient as they are - agreed!) through operating expenses.
Pittance? I helped a local non-profit earn $3000 last year by salvaging their "junk" through my volunteer work.
They're doing it wrong then. There's money in scrap boards, memory, CPUs, and the metal itself. I can understand turning the things away however if there's not a support structure in place for them.
Your kind of thought process is exactly the problem. A P4 system is perfectly usable given the correct software configuration, and as timothy already stated they're working well enough running Lubuntu to be a basic word processing/information device. Just because it's not the newest technology doesn't mean it's trash. There are plenty of people out there who would be perfectly well served by a basic computer that can run a web browser to look up information, and type up emails on it.
I think you just described SME:
As a 30 year old guy who has gone back into his old childhood Lego sets recently, as well as recently bought himself some new ones I uh, feel sadly qualified to comment on this story. My recent purchases were one LOTR set, and a Lego City set. In response to the lack of "creativity" in these sets, it's not the sets that have gotten less creative. It's the engineering in the brick placement amongst everything that has gotten better.
If you compare the brick selection and design of say, a 2012 LOTR set vs my early 90's Pirate sets you can easily see this. The 2012 sets use a number of small, angular pieces from what I've noted, that fit together in creative ways that the early 90's sets could only dream of. The pieces in question in the 2012 sets did indeed exist in the early 90's set, so it's not a case of simply making "less flexible" pieces.
You can tell that the designers of these sets have gotten really, really good at their jobs, in no doubt likely as a result of the difference in computing power between the early 90's and now. To suggest that the sets have gotten less "creative" is asinine. Have we gained more themed and licensed sets? Absolutely. However, the pieces they are equipping these sets with are simply fitting together better and looking more streamlined. You've still got your 4x2 bricks, your 3x3 plates, there's just less usage of them as the primary shape of a vehicle/building, and they are enhanced by the smaller 1x2 45 angle bricks say that really help bring out the details in the design.
In the end, they're still freaking Lego you can put together any way you want. It's simply the brick selection has changed for the better.
horseshit.... how many netbooks/tablets/convertibles/whatnot have a RPi header + many servo/motor PWM capable controllers?
I can count them on no fingers.
So you're going to do what with this, put your entire laptop onto an RC Plane? No, for that you'd use a Pi, Arduino, or any more appropriate form factors. Same on a RPi shield - are you going to cut a hole in your keyboard for the shield to stick out?
I've looked into this myself. I have an associates and have been slowly chipping away towards a Bachelors for years. http://www.degreeinfo.com/forum.php has a lot of good resources on this, but basically you can hack together credit from a combination of CLEP, DSST, among other equivalency testing, and then transfer them into one of the friendly-towards-this-kind-of-thing schools like Excelsior or Thomas Edison State college.
I was actually enrolled in Thomas Edison prior to knowing about this, slogging away at online courses. After learning about this "hack", and even figuring out a sure-fire way to a Bachelors degree in like 6 months, I didn't do it and I now haven't continued any further with Thomas Edison. For some, having a "BS" or "BA" in and of itself might be worth it, but for me the whole idea/thing just made the online degree seem like a joke if you can test your way out of an entire degree basically
This is the type of guy who will store his source code in the cloud, then act surprised when his VPS company crashes and he loses all his data.
Get off the cloud man, you clearly have no idea what you're doing and will pay dearly for it in the long-run.
Does this still actually work in 2012?